A 22% success rate in most human endeavors will instantly -- and for towering reasons -- qualify as a dismal failure.
How truly tragic it is when such a glaringly low pass rate applies to the timely intervention of California authorities in red-flag matters involving foster children.
A legal advocate commented recently that the 78-out-of-100 failure rate spells "the most egregious finding" in a recent federal report that was published late last month.
That seems obvious, and it underscores this serious state-wide problem that officials from the California Department of Social Services readily concede: far too many foster kids -- who perhaps comprise the most vulnerable of all populations in the state -- are falling through the cracks.
And that means something tragically ominous, namely, that many of them are likely lacking in protection against sexual predators.
Indeed, a recent Los Angeles news account citing the federal audit notes that very point, stressing federal officials' charge that California regulators have "failed to notify investigators of serious sexual abuse allegations and didn't follow up to ensure cases were resolved."
Incredibly, some investigations into adult misconduct have reportedly run on for more than a year, during which time foster children might be repeatedly abused and even move to one or more additional locations where they suffer additional maltreatment.
Notably, the state has a stated goal of fully investigating all open cases within 90 days.
Although that duration obviously marks a dramatic improvement contrasted to some instances of probes taking up to 15 months, critics still find fault with it. They note that authorities try to wind up investigations involving children who are not in the foster care system within a month.